SBC adoption services receive ‘good’ rating

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Local authority adoption services in the Borders have been rated as ‘good’ in the most recent inspection by Scotland’s care sector regulator.

The Care Inspectorate was carrying out the first reports on local adoption services with publication of regional break-down and grades.

The report came during this month’s National Adoption Week.

A regional breakdown is now available for each of Scotland’s 32 local authority-provided adoption services.

The scrutiny and improvement body said most of Scotland’s 39 adoption services, including those of Scottish Borders Council, were performing well and had received good grades.

SBC was rated at level four (good) across the three criteria of quality of care and support; quality of staffing and quality of management and leadership.

Inspectors said SBC adoption staff were “skilled and knowledgeable” and that they had good working relationships with neighbouring authorities.

Recommendations were restricted to ensuring improved communication with adopters about the findings of surveys and consultations and to ensure the local adoption panel has an even more diverse membership.

Stella Everingham, acting director of Social Work at SBC, said: “The council is very pleased with this inspection report and the high standards that were found, particularly as this is an area where we’re working with some of the most vulnerable children and families in the community.”

All adoption services operating in Scotland are required by law to register with the Care Inspectorate. Services are inspected annually by specialists who assess quality and support improvement if necessary.

As of the end of September, there were 39 adoption services operating in Scotland. Of these, 32 are local authority services, with a further seven run by voluntary or not-for-profit organisations. Every care service in Scotland is assessed against a number of quality themes.

Grades are awarded across the three crtieria on a scale from one (unsatisfactory) to six (excellent).

As of September, more than half of adoption services had a grade five or six (very good or excellent) for the Quality of Care and Support theme.

Annette Bruton, chief executive of the Care Inspectorate, said adoption services in Scotland are generally performing well.

“The quality of care offered is generally high, and in most services the quality of staffing and leadership is good or very good,” she said.